1,000,000 euro literary prize has lured three Spanish males out of anonymity, to disclose that they’re behind ultra-violent Spanish crime thrillers marketed because the work of “Spain’s Elena Ferrante”
The lads had printed below the pseudonym Carmen Mola, which roughly interprets as “Carmen’s cool”.
When one among their books gained the profitable Planeta prize, the trio went public to choose up the cheque at a glitzy ceremony attended by the Spanish king.
Agustín Martínez, Jorge Díaz and Antonio Mercero had printed novels and labored as scriptwriters below their actual names earlier than coming collectively to write down as Mola. Credit embody work on TV sequence “Central Hospital” and “Blind Date”.
Their lead character within the Carmen Mola novels is detective Elena Blanco, a “peculiar and solitary lady, who loves grappa, karaoke, traditional vehicles and intercourse in SUVs”, based on writer Penguin Random House.
The lads, all of their 40s and 50s, denied selecting a feminine pseudonym to assist promote the books. “We didn’t conceal behind a girl, we hid behind a reputation,” Antonio Mercero informed Spanish newspaper El País. “I don’t know if a feminine pseudonym would promote greater than a male one, I don’t have the faintest concept, however I doubt it.”
They’d beforehand claimed in interviews and on their very own web site that Mola was a professor in her late 40s, telling Spanish ABC newspaper three years ago that they wanted anonymity to “shield a settled life that has nothing to do with literature”.
Spanish media famous that publicity for the books had performed off the tensions between the obvious creator’s life and “her” creations.
“It hasn’t escaped anybody’s discover that the concept of a college professor and mom of three, who taught algebra courses within the morning then wrote ultra-violent, macabre novels in scraps of free time within the afternoon, made for an ideal advertising and marketing operation,” Spanish paper El Mundo famous in an interview with the authors.
Beatriz Gimeno, a feminist, author, activist – and former head of one among Spain’s nationwide equality our bodies, the Girls’s Institute – attacked the lads for making a feminine persona of their publicity for Carmen Mola books, over a number of years.
“Fairly aside from utilizing a feminine pseudonym, these guys have spent years doing interviews. It’s not simply the identify – it’s the pretend profile that they’ve used to soak up readers and journalists. They’re scammers,” she said on Twitter.
Their agent’s website contains a picture of a girl, trying away from the digital camera, on the writer profile web page, above a flattering comparability with Italian literary sensation Ferrante.
Final 12 months, a regional department of the Girls’s Institute recommended one of Mola’s works as a part of a choice of books by feminine authors together with Margaret Atwood that would “assist us perceive the fact and the experiences of girls in several durations of historical past and contribute to elevating consciousness about rights and freedoms”.
The Planeta prize, run by the publishing home of the identical identify, is as a lot a seek for probably profitable new books as a recognition of expertise.
It is just open to submissions of unpublished manuscripts, and the successful e-book should be printed by Planeta. Within the case of the brand new Mola work, which shall be launched below that identify, meaning abandoning their present writer, rival Penguin Random Home.
The e-book that clinched the prize doesn’t function Blanco. It’s a historic thriller, set in 1834 throughout a cholera epidemic, a couple of serial killer who dismembers ladies, based on the Spanish media. A journalist, a policeman and a younger lady get collectively to attempt to hunt him down.